Full service spa in the making
Passion, patience, a love for people, and a willingness to offer great service is businesswoman Marsha Farrell’s personal motto.
In the cosmetology business for 25 years, she operates Totally Polished Spa located along the south coast of Barbados. Although her days can run from 7 a.m. until late at night, she loves making customers happy and more important, well groomed.
Farrell started out working at a spa doing massages but with encouragement from the person in charge she began with nails.
“I did that and then I branched out on my own in the 1990s. I was still doing a course but I opened a salon in Worthing and I stayed there for ten years.
“I’ve had some challenges business-wise because I opened the business but not doing business management or anything like that… but I’m now able to look back and correct my mistakes,” she said.
She recalled attending the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and studying cooking but it “did not work out” and her mother suggested she try cosmetology.
She did, “happen to like it” and gravitated to doing nails including air brushing designs.
“That aspect intrigued me more than the hair aspect, so doing nails became my passion,” noted Farrell. She created albums highlighting airbrushing designs and also used YouTube to promote them, but interest in this technique waned and hand art has become popular with nail technicians using glitter, stamps, stones, flowers, and other embellishments.
“There are two fingers that you would accentuate now and do something different and more creative even if it’s just using the diamantes or actual nail art.
“Nails now have gone to a different level, it’s more fashionable. …You can learn a lot from YouTube. It could open your mind and then you could be more creative. …
“There are clients that still like simplicity and there are clients who like flamboyance. So you have to be able to cater for both,” she said.
Despite the interest in fingernails, Farrell thinks that far too often people neglect caring for their feet.
So, in addition to posting photos of her art on the business’ Facebook page, she offers tips on how people can take care of their feet.
“I find that a lot of people are not into that as much as they should be.
“I think that the feet are very important to the body and play a very important role. So my thing is to push more pedicures in my business.
“I love to do pedicures. I love to massage the feet; I love to see the before and after.
“I think as much as people like the nails and creative part, I think that they have gone too far from pedicures, so I’m trying to push those as one of the main attractions in a spa or nail salon.”
When clients of Totally Polished Spa book appointments for their nails, she also pushes the message about foot care, the importance of massages and having their feet complement their hands.
Farrell said while she is working hard to grow the business, she too, has grown within the last ten years. “I’ve become humbler; I’m putting customers first to make sure they are always happy.”
She also comes up with special offers, as a way to giving back to clients while trying to garner new ones.
“Customer service is No.1 for me right now.
“If you have a good customer, she/he can always recommend you to someone else,” Farrell said, adding there are customers that were with her from the start.
The businesswoman said the longer hours are all par for the course and she does not turn away a client because “if I know I can accommodate you, I would tell you come.
“I’m finished when the last person is.”
Her plans for the future include having a full spa where she can offer massages facials, make-up, waxing and, of course, more pedicures. This is the trajectory she is on now as she works to bring her “total spa” to fruition.
“Next year, I will be more established around this time,” Farrell said confidently.
“I now work alone, but next year I will have staff – about three persons, each one doing a particular aspect.
“I’m trying to rebuild. It takes time and dedication and that’s where I’m at right now,” she said with a smile. (GBM)